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Qualcomm Talks Up RF Module, LTE-U, Advanced Gaming

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Feb 17, 2016, 9:09 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Qualcomm made a slew of announcements across its various business units today. First, it introduced the RF360, a next-generation suite of radio products for phones spanning entry-level through flagships. The portfolio includes what Qualcomm claims is the first 40MHz envelope tracker for tuning multiple antennas and switches, along with a power amplifier. The suite will lead to slimmer handsets that have better battery life and improved wireless performance. Next, Qualcomm said it has partnered with Samsung to create the Samsung LTE-U eFemto cell, which relies on the Qualcomm FSM9955 chipset. The eFemto is able to provide LTE service over unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band. The company has also added support for the Khronos Vulkan API to the Adreno 530 GPU. This graphics processor is paired with Qualcomm's top-of-the-line Snapdragon 820 processor. Together, the 820, 530, and Vulkan API will lead to dramatically improved 3D gaming on mobile handsets. Qualcomm says several ODMs have agreed to make reference designs using the recently announced Snapdragon Wear 2100 SoC for wearables. Borqs, Compal Electronics, and Infomark will generate designs that device makers can pick up and use in their own smartwatches and fitness bands. Last, Qualcomm says its Haven authentication framework now supports hardware-backed biometric fingerprint authentication for Tencent's WeChat mobile payment service. This means WeChat customers will be able to use their fingerprint rather than a PIN or password to authorize payments on their handsets. This tech is limited to China for now, but Qualcomm expects to see it expand over time.


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